Thursday, 14 August 1997:

Various Books

Boy, this feels like it's been my second or third Friday this week - and it's only Thursday! For some reason I just can't get enough sleep this week, and I'm really dragging by the end of the work-day. Happily, this week's comics did indeed come in today, and it was a pretty good catch. Foremost among the new arrivals was Astro City, which just may be the best superhero comic on the market. Rather than focusing on superheroes being heroic, it focuses on the heroes and people of the fictional Astro City, and how they relate to themselves and each other as people; a relatively realistic, character-driven look at such a universe.

Other books included Supreme, which is Alan Moore's clever homage to the Superman mythos, and a peculiar contrast between today's and yesterday's styles of graphic storytelling; Doctor Tomorrow, the story of a man from the 1940s who comes into possession of late-20th century technology and information, and how he uses this to become a hero; and The Kents, a fictionalized historical account of Superman's adopted ancestors during the time of the Civil War. The Kents is the least of the lot, with a contrived and overly-detailed story, and cardboard characters.

I'm also looking to round out my collections of some older comics, mostly from the 70s and 80s. I've got the two paperback collections of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing stories, and would like to get the rest. I'm missing about 8 issues of the early Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne X-Men (you know, back when X-Men was worth reading). And I'm missing the first few issues of the Roger Stern/Marshall Rogers Doctor Strange. Also, I'd like to collect all the Justice League/Justice Society team-ups in the old Justice League of America title, since I'm a JSA junkie.

I've been buying comic books for over 22 years - nearly my whole life - so they have a significant place in my life, just like anyone else's hobby has in their life.

Also this evening, our local science fiction group, SF3, had its monthly book discussion group. Tonight we discussed The Fortunate Fall by Raphael Carter. I thought it was a pretty good book, if perhaps overly-complex, but no one else much cared for it. But mostly the groups are fun just to hang out with these folks.

SF3 also has a Wednesday evening social event - getting together at a local restaurant to hang out and chat. I've basically stopped going; I found I was getting less from the general social event than from the events actually focused around science fiction or actually doing things. I'm feeling like less of a social creature these days than I have in the past, and tend to be more "interest-oriented" when I get together with people.

Speaking of which, two weeks from today I'll hop a plane to San Antonio to attend this year's World Science Fiction Convention. It'll be my first WorldCon (I've been to a number of regional conventions); ought to be interesting!

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